Linda Stratford
  • Female
  • Wilmore, KY
  • United States
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Profile Information

Organization or Business Name
Asbury University
Contact Email
Art Interests
Art Criticism, Art History, Arts Administration, Education, Museum/Gallery, Theology
Artist / Personal Statement
Since earning my Ph.D. I have continued to refine my Stony Brook dissertation topic addressing art and national identity in France through research grants allowing research overseas and strategic presentations related to the quarrel over expressionist abstraction in twentieth-century France. I have been in a full-time art history position at Asbury University where I have developed study abroad programing in France. The University of Kentucky, our local research institution, hired me to teach my dissertation as a graduate course there during the sabbatical absence of their 20th-century art historian Robert Jensen. I was also delighted to be asked to organize and co-curate the 2006-2007 University of Kentucky Art Museum’s traveling exhibition "Realism to Impressionism." While I have been a career professor with primary calling to the classroom and to scholarship, I have also been willing to draw upon administrative skills as needed, recently forming along with colleagues, a new scholarly association, The Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art (ASCHA; ). Part of my current ASCHA work involves organizing a collection of scholarly essays for publication. Now in an advanced stage, ReVisioning: Methodological Studies of Christianity in the History of Art provides a critical examination of scholarly methodologies applied to the study of Christian subjects and themes in select works of art, 3rd century to the present. Each chapter addresses the question, in regard to a well-known work of art, "How have particular methods of art history been applied, and with what effect?"
Accomplishments / CV

2001 Ph.D., History (Art and Society), State University of New York, Stony Brook; Prof. Herman Lebovics, Advisor.

Dissertation Title: Artists into Frenchmen: Art and National Definition in France, 1945-1960.

M.A., History (Cultural and Intellectual History), Florida Atlantic University; B.S. Art, Vanderbilt University.


Associate Professor (tenured, Art History), Asbury College 2001 to present
Art Theory and Criticism; Twentieth-century Art; Renaissance Art; Directed Independent Study; Art History Survey I and II; Senior Seminar; Seminar in France


Artists into Frenchmen: The Quarrel over Expressionist Abstraction in France

Linda Stratford

Artists into Frenchmen: The Quarrel over Expressionist Abstraction in France suggests that leadership in the realm of the visual arts in the West after World War II was not so much “stolen” from Paris as Cold War accounts suggest, but sidelined by certain “forces of order” within France itself.

“Truly French” Art
Throughout the 1950’s a unitary notion of French art guided by classical principles of order, discipline and heroic sensibility prevailed in critical and official discourse. Despite the presence of a great variety of contemporary approaches stemming from School of Paris and expressionist influences, contemporary painting falling outside a narrowly defined rubric (measured largely by Matisse, Bonnard and Braque) enjoyed neither institutional support nor critical acclaim.

The American Menace
However, by 1959, the failure to embrace international cosmopolitanism threatened the very reputation of the French. On the heels of the widely acclaimed Jackson Pollock and the New American Painting and other abstract expressionist shows brought to Europe in the 1950’s, The United States, already enjoying political and economic status, seemed to be eclipsing France as a worldwide cultural force as well.

Gaining Lost Ground
The new Gaullist administration of the Fifth Republic set in motion a process intended to restore French reputation worldwide. Minister of Culture André Malraux acknowledged the role to be played by the state in redressing the French origins of progressive painting, reversing decades of judgment casting School of Paris and expressionist approaches as “less than French.”

Lessons Learned
A number of historians on both sides of the Atlantic have expressed the need for a revisionist history in regard to the American “lead” in contemporary art in the postwar period. Consideration must be given to the possibility that leadership in the realm of the visual arts after World War II was not “stolen” as Cold War studies suggest, but rather, sidelined by certain “forces of order” within French society and the French artistic milieu itself. This study demonstrates the risks of viewing artistic initiatives as belonging, or not belonging, within the framework of a nation, as demonstrated in the aesthetic “call to order” discovered in France in the 1950’s.

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At 2:56pm on October 6, 2011, Cameron J. Anderson said…
Welcome to the CIVA Network!
At 2:54pm on October 6, 2011, Shannon Steed Sigler said…
Welcome Linda!  Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

Linda Stratford's Blog

Study Abroad in Paris

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 2:03pm 0 Comments

Paris not only houses the largest art collections in the world (representing major periods and cultures in the history of art and architecture), but as a thriving cosmopolitan center allows student internships in a wide variety of fields, from art, music, theatre, languages and…


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